Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Informational Interview

This informational interview took place on Monday, February 21, 2011. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing my aunt, Ruby Hardamon, who is a realtor and is currently employed with Guarantee Real Estate in their Fort Washington office. She was gracious enough to share her insights about the real estate industry along with how she got involved in the field. I would like to thank her for her generosity and time.

Q. How did you get started in the real estate field?

A. My real estate career actually began when I was 8 years old. My desire to live in a beautiful environment and the vacancy of a neighboring home was the beginning of my real estate career. I did make myself aquainted with the owner and facilitated the introduction of my father to him. I completed my first real estate transaction by delivering the money and receipt to my father. It was more than 30 years later that I attended real estate school. I did not take the test at that time, because I had a loss in my family that was devastating and I could not concentrate. I focused on my current business, which was a beauty college. It would be 25+ years before I returned to what was really my first love, real estate.

Q. What kind of background is best for a career in real estate?

A. Business, marketing, contract writing, and strong people skills are some of the most important areas to focus on.

Q. What are the major responsibilities associated with your career?

A. The major responsibility connected to real estate is selling real estate. No matter how educated you are, the bottom-line is sales. You are responsible for taking a client from either selling or buying a home and facilitating or helping them to get through the process. Which can include introducing them to a lender, preparing contracts, ordering home inspections, pest reports, roof certification and interfacing with title and escrow officers. The key word here is CLOSE.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?

A. Helping other people realize their dream of home ownership is the most rewarding thing for me.

Q. What obligations does your work put on you outside of the actual job? What are some lifestyle considerations for this type of career?

A. The main obligation is making sure my client is protected and happy with the home that they choose. You have to get involved with every client personally, because in order to help them, you have to get to know them. You are essentially involved in their personal business and finances.

Q. Would you choose this career again?

A. Yes, only sooner than I did.

Q. What is a "typical" day like for you?

A. A typical day for me involves checking my email, making necessary phone calls to clients, banks, lenders, title companies, appraisers or showing and/or emailing properties to potential buyers and preparing offers or listing presentations.

Q. What kind of individual is best suited for a career in real estate?

A. The position of real estate agent requires that you're able to get along with all ethnic groups comfortably, be well-groomed and have excellent writing and speaking skills. You have to be very patient but yet in control. You have to like people as well.

Q. What is the future outlook for this career? What are the areas of potential growth and decline? How do you see jobs changing in the future?

A. The future outlook for real estate is excellent. The areas for potential growth investment right now, because property is very cheap. It is also a great time to buy. I believe the decline of the market based on statistics is almost over. I see new opportunities for job openings as well.

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